LITTLE Evie O’Connor beamed in her hospital bed as Sheffield United stars presented her with a first team hat.
The two-year-old tot, who has a condition which means there is not enough oxygen in her blood, was one of several youngsters who met Blades players as they visited Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Handing out pencil cases, posters and hats, the squad spread Christmas cheer across the wards where some youngsters will spend the festive season.
Evie was also born with Hirschsprung’s disease, which means her bowel did not develop properly, and had major surgery at just six days old.
Her dad - Owls fan, Shaun O’Connor, of Hillsborough - said: “Evie’s been a bit under the weather which is why she’s back here.
“She loved all the attention from the players today, she’s been smiling a lot.”
Blade mum Rachael added: “It is lovely that the club comes to the hospital and it’s bringing a bit of Christmas spirit, especially for people who are not going home.”
And she grinned: “It’s made my day seeing her in a Blades hat!”
Across the room was asthmatic tot Gregor Benn, also two, who was recovering from a nasty chest infection and hoping to go home to Nether Green yesterday.
Mum Linda said: “I think it is really generous of the players to come in, it’s quite a foreign environment for them. They were really kind to Gregor and talked to everyone.”
United stars - including captain Chris Morgan, striker James Beattie and goalie Steve Simonsen – signed cards for staff before visiting the kids.
Chris said: “I think it’s really important that we do this. t’s something the players take great pride in because it is difficult for everybody in hospital, especially children and at Christmas.
“Hopefully it will put a smile on their faces.”
Bramall Lane chairman Chris Steer said: “This is something the club would never miss. There are kids from all England here but they all understand football.”